The African Philanthropy Network (APN) is excited to announce the twenty (20) winners of the Youth Essay Contest which focused on, “The Role of African Philanthropy in transforming community challenges through Innovation, Policy, and Practice”. The essay contest which was launched on the 25th of May 2022 attracted 300 essay submissions from youth aged 18 – 35 years old around the African continent. The goal of the APN Essay contest is to grow the culture of philanthropy among the youth.  As a first step towards nurturing this philanthropic culture in African youth, APN decided to sponsor a continentwide youth essay competition to encourage youth to think about innovation and practice of African philanthropic giving in addressing development challenges. Furthermore, the essay contest provided a space for African youth to raise their voice and generate a new African philanthropy narrative.

After careful deliberation, the judges selected Teboho Polanka from Lesotho as the overall winner of the contest. His winning essay illustrated the nature of African philanthropy and the challenges that are still dominant in the sector. Emerging as the second winner, Keyame Gofamang from Botswana focused on how Africa should collectively transcend and activate the phenomena of African giving to drive its transformational agendas for its communities through innovation, and political commitment underpinned by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Philip Hope Ifeoluwa from Nigeria who scooped the third position delved into the challenges faced by African Philanthropy in effectively transforming community challenges in Africa.

Commenting on the essay contest, APN Executive Director, Dr. Stigmata Tenga said “It is very inspiring to see how passionate young people think about the effectiveness of African Philanthropy in transforming the continent. From the essays, it is evident that many young people are actively engaged in helping address challenges in their communities through different forms of giving”.

All the 20 essays will be published on the APN website. Additionally, the top three winners will participate in a Youth in Philanthropy webinar which will be hosted by APN on the 30th of August in commemoration of Youth International Day which fell on the 12th of August.

Below is a full list of the 20 winners.

Rank Jina AGE Gender COUNTRY
1. Teboho Polanka 29 M Lesotho
2. Keyame Gofamang 24 F Botswana
3, Philip Hope Ifeoluwa 22 M Nigeria
4. Mercy Murigi Wangari 28 F Kenya
5. Bill Ivans Gbafore 24 M Liberia
6. Ebrima Secka 29 M Gambia
7. Petronella Buwerimwe 22 F Zimbabwe
8. Richard Chomba 26 M Zambia
9. Maryse Dossou-Yovo (French Essay) 20 F Benin
10. Aremu Ololade Mustafa 24 M Nigeria
11 Shareefa Youshna Jewan 28 F Mauritius
12 Modester Phiri 25 F Malawi
13 Sarah Annabell 24 F Kenya
14 Catherine Kantono 31 F Uganda
15 Tracy Wambugu 21 F Kenya
16 Gritejie Nthabiseng 26 F Botswana
17 Joseph Masangula 23 M Tanzania
18 Thandolwethu Jele 27 F South Africa
19 Shu Mabel Lum 34 F Cameroon
20 Sandros Kathumbi 18 M Namibia